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 Post subject: Feeling sorry for DS
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:00 pm
Posts: 558
Location: Wales
DS has been unwell for a couple of weeks with sore throat, bunged up nose & tiredness. Just as we thought he was over it he gave an outstanding man of the match rugby performance in cold, wet conditions and promptly went downhill the next day with high temp, headaches, upset tummy and sore throat back again :roll:

He's had a couple of days off school and is back today, still not feeling 100% and seems to be really worried about Y7 exams which are happening this week. For the last few nights he has come into our room after we have come up to bed and said that he can't get to sleep.

He takes his school work seriously enough but has never really been one to worry like this. Maybe feeling under the weather is making him worry more? He has had 2 grade reviews and a parents evening since Sept and he is doing very well in all subjects except maths, where he is doing about average. We have reassured him that he is doing very well and we are happy and proud. We haven't really mentioned the upcoming exams except to say 'don't worry these are just little tests, do your best as you always do' so I don't think we have put any pressure on there.

Why is my poor boy feeling so worried? What have they been saying to him at school to cause him sleepless nights, or is this just his own internal pressure? There is an atmosphere of achievement at his school but it isn't OTT. We have always encouraged him to do his best but it seems he is piling on the expectations himself and no amount of reassurance helps.

Just feeling sorry for my darling boy as it's growing dark and cold outside and he is still at school (until 7:15pm) possibly doing an exam right now. Sometimes I think all this testing is counter productive! They've only been in year 7 for 2.5 months! :evil:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:42 pm 
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My yr 7 worries about tests too.She was in a primary where she coasted and had no homework at all in year 6 and didn't really have to try.
She worries about revision techniques and retaining all the information etc.I think these just feel more like "real " tests to them and it is a bit of a shock.
Tonight she is revising for biology and has about 12 A4 pages of info to retain.She is worried about remembering it.
I just give her little techniques...e.g mnemonics, ryhmes etc and encourage the use of highlighting pens to trigger the visual memory.

I also think they are very tired and run down after 8 - 9 weeks and some of the initial euphoria has faded.
Roll on the holidays for them.Poor little kids.They are only 11 :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:00 pm
Posts: 558
Location: Wales
Thanks for the reply CM. Yes I agree that perhaps the initial euphoria has passed and now they are feeling quite run down. Those are good tips you mention to help your DD's revision! Good luck vibes zooming along to her from me!

DS seems fine at remembering pages of biology or history but maths is a different beast for him. He was very precocious in maths in years 1-2 and the headteacher gave him an end of Y2 SATS paper to do informally mid way through Y1. He scored a level 3 and the headteacher said that she had suspected he had a natural aptitude for maths.

When that school closed and he went to a much larger primary I think he coasted and missed a number of key mathematical concepts. He has trouble knowing how to lay out his work, often working out the correct answer in his head and not understanding why he has to set it out in a certain way on the page. When he does try to set the answer out as required he often goes wrong because the method doesn't make sense to him. Because the method doesn't make sense he then forgets the method for next time.

His Y7 maths teacher now at his new school does not particularly rate him in maths and said at parents evening that he is working at a level which should get him a grade C GCSE. :roll: Maybe it is this attitude of his teacher that is frustrating DS and causing him to worry? DS says that the teacher talks in a condescending way to him and favours the girls!

Having said that I do believe he has made progress with this teacher and that some of the gaps in knowledge in the key areas are now closing. I have also been trying to quietly (not making a big deal out of it) help this along at home but worry that I will confuse him further with possibly different methods to his teacher?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:16 pm 
Go and speak to the school about Maths and say you are concerned because although he is not special in this area he was awarded an academic scholarship to another school and this Grade C comment has surprised you.

Maybe DS might be finding it tough not being top of the class as independent schools often have an above average intake. This may have knocked his confidence if he was one of the brightest at his primary schools. It is a very long, tiring term with the cold and dark nights and it is quite common by this stage for the kids to be struggling. Very common at DS school and they all put it down to winter term fatigue.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Location: Wales
Hi Tipsy - thanks for reassurance and good advice as usual :)

Yes I think I will talk to the school about the maths and the grade C comment. You are right about the academic scholarship - the scholarship tests also included NVR in which he highly excels and which are supposed to corrolate with high maths ability.

I actually do think he is special in maths - a level 3 in year 1 is special to me. I just don't think that he was developed at all by his primary and is now playing catch up in key areas. I want his current teacher to realise his ability and help him, not just write him off as a grade C.

I'm really starting to think this frustration in maths is what is causing DS to lose sleep! You are also right Tipsy in saying that there are some very very bright and exceptional children in DS's class and this may be causing him to feel that he has an even higher mountain to climb to catch up with them. He has also found out about streaming from other children and seems worried he will end up in the "dunces class" because of his maths.

Thing is, this is all his own pressure. All he hears from us is that he is doing well and should continue to try his best and listen hard in class etc. I told him that there is no "Dunces class" in his school because it is selective to start with, which seemed to provide a little comfort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:46 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:54 pm 
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Location: Wales
LLL thanks for that :D You are so right! Your post is like a hug in itself!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:00 pm 
If he is set for maths he may even have a different maths teacher which will be good. Level 3 in Year 1 is special so his school must have failed him. It's horrible if he is losing sleep and being stressed but he is obviously quite competitve and gains a huge amount of self esteem from being brilliant - which he is in nearly every area (oh and you're so nice I can't even be jealous and bitter - darn it!) - so this is probably going to be a bit of a learning curve. As long as it doesn't knock him and actually inspires him to compete.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:04 pm 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
Freya - don't worry , I remember DS being so tired last year in Y7. He was sick for at least 5 days ( seperate occasions) in the first term, simply because he was exhausted. Mind you 7.15 is a very late finish , I thought my son's school was bad finishing at 5.30.
This year he hasn't had one day off ( touch wood!) and doesn't seem at all tired and happily does all his prep.
Is your son going to be setted in Maths next year or next term? My son was setted for Maths from day 1 and now in Y8 for Science as well. They did several tests to review the sets too. Your son may well be worried about the Maths sets , sounds as though the teacher is a disaster! Level 3 in Y1 is amazing - no way should he be in bottom set unless all the others are geniuses! Definitely have a word with the teacher to clarify this.
I really hope he feels better soon - and you!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
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Location: Warwickshire.
Love and best wishes to your son, Freya. x


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